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CODE 107010
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR BIO/05
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 1° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

The marine environment represents a fundamental resource for human beings and its use imply multi-pressure on marine diversity putting it at risk. For this reason, one of the challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive is to improve the management of the marine environment to protect marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Cetaceans are indicator organisms of the ecosystem health where they are present, therefore their study also allows the evaluation of the state of conservation of complex ecosystems. The course presents the main biological and ecological characteristics of cetaceans, with a specific focus on the species most commonly present in the Mediterranean; the main technologies and analysis methodologies for the study and monitoring of cetaceans; instruments for the conservation of cetaceans as the International Agreements Pelagos and Accobams; principles of risk assessment linked to the main human activities.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aims to provide the main notions regarding the biology and ecology of cetaceans, specifically the Mediterranean species, and the necessary skills regarding the different research techniques and analysis.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Attendance and participation in the lectures and laboratories will allow the student to acquire advanced knowledge regarding the biology and ecology of cetaceans, the analysis methodologies and the use of specific software.

Specifically, the student will be able to:
- Acquire knowledge relating to the biology and ecology of cetaceans, with particular reference to Mediterranean species
- Acquire knowledge regarding the conservation of cetaceans in the Mediterranean and the anthropic impacts to which they are subjected
- Acquire practical knowledge regarding the collection and analysis of data relating to the monitoring of cetaceans
- Acquire knowledge relating to the use of GIS software to study the distribution of cetaceans

PREREQUISITES

There are no prerequisites required.

TEACHING METHODS

The course is divided into 20 hours of frontal lessons, delivered through multimedia presentations. Attendance at lessons is not mandatory but is strongly recommended. There are no field trips planned.

There is a practical part (12.5 hours) which involves the use of the computer room in order to learn and put into practice the analysis methodologies using GIS, acoustic software and statistical analysis software, and some technical seminars.

Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application for the course for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The course program includes the discussion and analysis of the following topics:
• Morphological and physiological evolution and adaptations
• Mysticetes and Odontocetes - physiology and classification
• Species of cetaceans present in the Mediterranean sea: biology, distribution, ecology, identification
• Management and conservation of cetaceans in the Mediterranean sea
• Methodologies and instrumentation for data collection and monitoring at sea
• Photo-identification techniques
• Distribution and Habitat – Analysis methodologies
• Abundance – Analysis methodologies
• Acoustic analysis 
Notes on Ecotoxicology
Anthropic impacts and risk-assessment

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

There are no specific textbooks. All the material necessary for learning is contained in the Power Point presentations. The slides used during the lessons and any other teaching material will be provided to the students during the course.

The material provided and/or suggested will be predominantly in English.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

LESSONS START

For lessons start and timetable go to the link: https://easyacademy.unige.it/portalestudenti/

Please check the module Aulaweb page for timetable updates dependent on the sanitary and epidemic situation.

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

The exam consists of an oral test, aimed at evaluating the knowledge of the fundamental elements of the subject and the ability to make connections between the various topics. During the oral test, the presentation of the performance of some exercises - carried out during laboratory hours - will also be required. 

Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application for the course for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Details on how to prepare for the exam and the level of depth required for each topic will be provided during the lessons. The exam will mainly focus on the topics covered during the lectures and will aim to evaluate the level of knowledge achieved. 

The ability to present the topics clearly and with correct terminology will also be assessed, through the preparation of a short (8 min maximum) presentation on a topic chosen from those covered in the course.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Constant and regular attendance at lessons is strongly recommended.

Students who have valid certification of physical or learning disabilities on file with the University and who wish to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances regarding lectures, coursework and exams, should speak both with the instructor and with Professor Sara Ferrando (sara.ferrando@unige.it), the Department's disability liaison.